Star Wars Prequel Series The Acolyte Reveals A Few Key Details

Prepare to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of "Star Wars" projects that Lucasfilm has planned for the next few years. Just because we aren't in the middle of an ongoing trilogy doesn't mean there will be any shortage of lightsabers and space adventures to marvel at — in addition to the many trilogies still in the works, Disney+ seemingly has an infinite list of upcoming TV projects with the "Star Wars" stamp.

First up is "Obi-Wan Kenobi," set to arrive later this month on May 27, 2022. Later in the summer, Diego Luna is expected to take center stage in "Andor," and a third season of "The Mandolorian" is still expected to cap off the year (or at least start 2023 with a bang). "Ahsoka" is set for 2023 and that's still not all. Also looming on the horizon is a mysterious new series codenamed "Grammar Rodeo," and another project we know slightly more about: "The Acolyte." Set in the waning days of the High Republic Era, the series will tackle a time period that's been explored in the canon "Star Wars" novels but never before seen on-screen: rumor has it the show will delve into the return of the Sith and the emergence of their Dark Side powers. While actual plot details remain scarce, Vanity Fair's recent look at the upcoming chapter of Star Wars tv provides some intriguing details.

The mysteries of The Acolyte

"The Acolyte" presents a prime opportunity to see just how far the "Star Wars" universe can expand onscreen. While many of the upcoming series take on the name of familiar and already beloved characters (an "Ahsoka" here and an "Andor" there), this series is utterly unfamiliar, jumping back to a time before the prequels. According to showrunner Leslye Headland ("Russian Doll"), "The Acolyte" takes place roughly 100 years before "The Phantom Menace." Headland added:

"A lot of those characters haven't even been born yet. We're taking a look at the political and personal and spiritual things that came up in a time period that we don't know much about. My question when watching The Phantom Menace was always like, 'Well, how did things get to this point?' How did we get to a point where a Sith lord can infiltrate the Senate and none of the Jedi pick up on it? Like, what went wrong? What are the scenarios that led us to this moment?"

The series has been described as "a mystery-thriller that will take viewers into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era." Headland added that the story begins in a "prosperous and seemingly peaceful era, when the galaxy is still sleek and glistening." Things are going so well that Headland even refers to this as the "Renaissance," or "the Age of Enlightenment" within the galaxy. Even tiny details like aesthetic choices hint at peace. Headland said this of the Jedi:

"The Jedi uniforms are gold and white, and it's almost like they would never get dirty. They would never be out and about. The idea is that they could have these types of uniforms because that's how little they're getting into skirmishes."

The Acolyte remains very mysterious but has already found its lead in Amandla Stenberg ("The Hate U Give" and "The Hunger Games). Headland shared that she has spent the past two years planning the series (mostly from the confines of her own home) and while the writing process is largely complete, the show is entering its casting phase.